Marvel's multiverse has been destroyed and all that remains is Battleworld! If you're unfamiliar with the latest Battleworld it is a "patchwork planet composed of fragments of worlds that no longer exist." Clear enough for you? Great!
Secret Wars: Spider-Island is one of those fragments and, you guessed it, this world is based on the Spider-Island event that ran from Amazing Spider-Man #666 to #673. This domain is now the Kingdom of the Spider-Queen and she works hard to make sure all its inhabitants remain under her mind control.
After launching one final assault on the Queen's headquarters, Agent Venom and his team of freedom fighters found themselves unpleasantly surprised. The Queen mutated into a giant Spider and she was hell-bent on squashing the resistance to her reign once and for all.
All hope appeared lost as the recently mutated Spider-Queen prepared to unleash a terrible fury upon Agent Venom and his team. Showing an unmatched amount of bravery, Flash navigates his way through her sonic scream in order to get within striking distance of the villainess. Once on the Spider-Queen’s back, Flash convinces his alien symbiote to bond with the Queen and send her on a suicide mission. The symbiote reluctantly complies.
Without the symbiote to protect him, Flash is left vulnerable to the Queen’s attack and he sustains a mortal injury in the process. As the symbiote-Spider-Queen comes crashing down to the streets below, the Queen thinks that she has survived the symbiote’s attack. Unfortunately for the Queen she was wrong, because Stegron and his dinosaur army came barreling down the streets ready to feast upon the Spider-Queen!
The team soon realizes that there’s nothing they can do to save Flash from dying and the hero soon passes in the company of his close friends and allies. But Flash’s death was not in vain, his heroic leadership saved the city from the Queen’s mind control.
A few days later Dino-Thor, one of Doom’s delegates, arrives to at Spider-Island to find a new baron to represent this world (since the Queen was dead Doom requires someone else to lead). Spider-Man is appointed to that role and he debates the best way to honor his fallen comrade Flash Thompson. The story concludes with Peter and Betty acknowledging that Flash would not have wanted anything other than to see Manhattan freed once again, which is exactly what he managed to do.
The last two issues of this mini-series had me seriously concerned about where this thing was headed. And although this story lost its luster, the final installment did have some redeemable qualities. Having Flash sacrifice his life to save the city was a nice touch, frankly I was surprised that they killed him. Although I did quietly laugh to myself at the irony of Flash dying whilst still having access to the Goblin Formula; if it saved Norman from a heart-piercing, than it could certainly have saved Flash. But I digress.
I'd like to reiterate the cool-factor given to the concept of turning the Avengers into Spider-Man's rogues, that gave this mini-series a nice unique touch that kept it feeling like a Spider-Man story (despite the fact that Agent Venom was the story's protagonist).
But overall the mini series was redundant and even corny at times, I certainly would not recommend this one out to anyone other than die-hard Spider-fans.
Couple of interesting story-telling aspects emerged from this mini-series, but on the whole this was largely forgettable.